Back in the 1960s, beauty was so simple that some beauty parlors—like the nine traditional ones run by Robert Andrew Zupko—only had one service: roller sets. But beauty trends began to change, so Zupko changed right along with them, adding skincare and nailcare to his hairstyling business. When 1996 hit the calendars, the salon evolved into a full-fledged day spa that covered 7,000 square feet.
Zupko has since created Robert Andrew – The Salon & Spa, a 22,000-square-foot Tuscan-style getaway nestled in the giant scalene triangle that connects D.C., Annapolis, and Baltimore. Inside the salon, more than 90 beauty professionals—including nail technicians, massage therapists, and stylists—shape and polish nails, snip split ends, and disentangle achy muscle knots. The salon also boasts a troupe of Yon-Ka trained aestheticians who remove dead skin cells with pumpkin enzymes and melt away frozen funny faces with hot-stone facials.
More recently, Zupko opened Robert Andrew Medical Spa, where the spotlight's on lasers, injectables, chemical peels, and other high-tech skincare services.
The beautification and relaxation specialists at Domani Studio pamper clients' hair, skin, and nails with a long list of spa services. Facials freshen visages with infusions of fruit enzymes, glycolic acid, and vitamin C, and nails glint with colorful OPI polish after manicures. An onsite doctor performs Botox and laser hair-removal treatments, and spa packages beautify bridal parties before they celebrate the upcoming banns by photobombing local news broadcasts.
Grady L. Gamble of Gamblenation Massage was an All-American wrestler and all-conference college football quarterback. Which is to say, he understands the effects activity can have on the human body and the importance of properly taking care of it. That's where Grady believes positive touch and soft-tissue manipulation?the fundamentals of massage?come in. At Gamblenation, he offers Swedish and deep-tissue massages that draw from his massage-school techniques, but also from his deep understanding of the body. His practice is also centered on relieving pain and restoring the body's ability to function on the field, at the computer, or while towing the team bus with a jumprope.
A Smart Tan certified salon that's been locally owned and operated since 1997, Sunscape Tanning Salon banishes pale hues with a variety of skin-bronzing services. Their SuperSonic standup booth infuses skin with color borrowed straight from sun, and their exclusive airbrush formula mimic a trip to the beach without the UV exposure. In addition to their extensive tanning experience and education, the highly trained staff continues the beauty enhancements with waxing services from brow to leg and facials that benefit teens, men, and women.
Spa Bellezza has its share of inventive beauty treatments, sure. But it's something called whine therapy that stands out—clients bring a friend, munch on finger foods, sip a glass of wine, and engage in "some soul-felt girl talk." With her masters degrees in psychology and certification as a senior cosmetologist, spa owner Carla knows what she's doing when she organizes events such as these. The community-conscious grandmother earned a degree as a registered nurse and as a licensed cosmetologist as well, backgrounds she distills into organizing two-hour spa parties for girls.
Carla and her staff also focus on individual services. Vanilla, avocado, sugar, and an array of aromatherapy oils comprise the recipes for Spa Bellezza's body treatments. And, a selection of products by Essie, OPI, L.A. Colors, and more attests to the staff's discerning tastes. Facials, mani-pedis, and massages all attract clients to the spa like moths to a hot rod's flames.
The Boulevard Salon & Spa deploys experienced stylists to deftly slice hairs from men's chins, cheeks, and heads. Guests recline in barber chairs while pre-shave oil and hot lather swaddle mugs in toasty foam, giving visages a glimpse into the brief life of a cappuccino. A keen-edged straight razor slides along the face to efficiently remove stubble. In the Executive shave, the razor doubles back for a second voyage against the grain, smoothing skin with a thoroughness comparable to double Zamboni treatments for ice rinks or double vacuumings of molting tropical birds. Frosty aftershave and an ice-cold towel seal pores and soothe sensitive dimples, and a face massage dissipates tension from overworked, skeptical eyebrows. Alternately, patrons can opt for a haircut and single shave that foregoes the razor's return visit. A consultation ensures that head bristles will be cropped to specifications using Kenra and L'Oreal professional products, and a hot towel—aided by a head-and-neck massage—steams shoulders into a relaxed slump.